The problems families have within affect everyone negatively, foster resentment, fear and jealousy employees feel toward the family and can even destroy all you have sacrificed to create if not resolved.

We Are The Rx for Family Business Success

When there is an imbalance between the family and business demands for each member,  given the conflicting emotions, long history and baked-in assumptions, without professional help things will not change.

All are too close to the situation and emotions take over.  Prejudices of each person will only deepen and create more and more competition rather than cooperation.

Poorer decisions will be made while fewer problems are solved because the best thinking the family is capable of is not applied.  Employees will become increasingly alienated and jealous because they do not feel part of the business and top performers will leave.

The Business Clinic Gives Your Family The Professional Help You Need for a Better Future

Our personalized counseling allows each family member to re-calibrate their perspective so the balance in relationships is restored, prejudices, jealousies and rivalry disappear and cooperation between all becomes the norm.

The payoff is that, as a cohesive team, the family makes better decisions, solves tough problems that alone they have been unable to handle while employee resentment disappears as their feeling of being outsiders and not respected vanish and they feel valued and a part of the success of the business.

CLICK TO READ "Understanding The Trifecta of Family Business Challenges"

If there ever was a reason to chuck your business…

…these three are at the top of the list. And how do you respond if the three problems in this trifecta are directly connected?  That’s three headaches in one.  Believe it or not: it happens.  The question is: to whom?

The answer is: to the one person who feels s/he is the person most responsible for the success of the family business.

Before we ask if you are this kind of person, let us make some business owner observations.

There are not enough hours in the day for one person to solve every problem.  Businesses require teams of people to be available to handle the number of concerns that can appear on any given day.  So, solutions must be available so each of the problems do not cascade into even worse ones.

However, let’s be practical; most businesses are designed to make money, not deal with the personal issues of the family members who make up the employees of the family business.

And let’s be realistic here too, is it possible to run a family business with people who manage to always avoid personal problems, never want to take time off, and always wake up with more than a day’s passion burning in their hearts to work long hours running full speed?

Even that last sentence is tiring isn’t it?

It Is About More Than “The Business”

Family members always have more than business issues to concern them.   It makes sense then doesn’t it, to spend some time talking about and being aware of these issues?

Why not hold a family meeting to look at them?  Encourage everyone in the family to share their past as well as present feelings about these issues and their concerns.

Now, who should lead this meeting?  Maybe not the person who is most responsible for the success of the business but someone else, so the responsibility of the family success is shared by others?

Is it possible in a family business to recognize that issues like these problems are everyone’s responsibility?  Isn’t it every member’s responsibility to care for the welfare of other members of the family?

What is the most important responsibility in your business: family, money or each member’s well-being?  Could it be possible that family problems, time-off and passion for success is everyone’s responsibility?  If it isn’t, do you think these issues would be as prominent as they seem to be?

There are a lot of questions here to be answered, aren’t there?

As boss person and family leader, what’s it going to be? Business as usual, or some understanding of how family issues, time-off, and desire to get things done get established in your family?

How does the family encourage individuals to be themselves while being in the family?

Here are some important questions that could be discussed at your family meetings:

  • Does everyone in the family know why they’re in a family business?
  • Do some of the family members want to do something else?
  • Is there an anonymous suggestion box so members can suggest ideas for the whole family to discuss at meetings and not worry about who brought it up?
  • Why is your family successful?
    … Or not?
  • When did we have the most fun as a family?
  • Do we want to do that again?
  • When?
  • Has anyone ever wanted to do something else than what they are doing?
    • Did they mention it to other members of the family?
    • How did they respond?
    • Should that be a subject for the whole family to discuss?
  • Is there something you want to do with other people rather than the family?
  • Should the family add products to your product mix?
  • Does the family want to do something else other than work together?
  • What would the family do instead of what they are doing?


An important question to ask yourself is: are any of these topics taboo?  When you have answered “No” to that question, when is your next meeting scheduled for?  Are you sure every one of your family has the burning desire to be there?  Or…

  • Will the meeting cause a family problem?
  • Will a member want to have a baby or just time off so they can do something else rather than have a meeting?

Wouldn’t it be nice if members of the family know each other’s minds, so you didn’t have to be the boss and use your energy to push the family ahead all the time?

That way you wouldn’t be a problem for others.  You could take some time off.  And you could feel a resurgence of your desire to be a leader of your family?

Well some of these subjects are going to take several meetings to get them settled.

Why have all these boring meetings?  So the family can get up and go make money, why else?

Getting family members to work through these issues and problems is surprisingly often, far more complicated and difficult than anyone imagines.  Why? Because there “is history” and personalities and issues and assumptions and jealousy and animosities and … and… and…

Sometimes, having a diplomat and professional intermediary involved is the only solution because they can bring an outside view of the situation, are an impartial party and are able to carry messages between people who would never talk to each other directly. Moreover, they have the personality and specialized expertise to effectively bring harmony to the family.

Family Business Have Great Strengths… and Vulnerabilities

Although they have great strengths, family-owned companies also come with unique vulnerabilities and issues that can derail growth, family relationships and success.

Family member conflicts can be far-reaching and detrimental to the point of even destroying the business.  Conflicts between family and business must be resolved and equilibrium found for business success and for the family cohesiveness and togetherness.

Wealth, Ownership and Family Relationship intersect to create situations that do not exist in corporations with unrelated owners.

The people you love are in the business and they don’t get along, maybe shouldn’t be there at all but you can’t fire family can you?

Succession, governance, performance, compensation, relationships and communication are areas where we help family owned businesses.

It’s all complicated by a sense of obligation, absence or disinterest. When these arise, finding a path forward can appear insoluble.

Our experience working with over 2,000 family businesses over the past 30+ years means that we can bringing balance and harmony to your family’s businesses.